She wasn’t a street fortune-teller. When I asked about the difference, Mrs. Azam patted my cheek and smiled. “Desperation, Dari-jan, is what drives a person to the streets.
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What’s your dog’s name? I asked. Potato, she said. I thought to myself: I could love a woman with a dog called Potato. A woman with a dog called Potato is exactly what I need.
We talk about county fairs, food drives, bake sales, soccer games, potlucks, and picnics. We talk about divorce, unemployment, abortion, bankruptcy, date rape, lay-offs, sexual harassment, lawsuits, incest. We talk about ourselves, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends, our families, our dead relatives, our crushes, our affairs, our flings, our exes. We fight, we laugh, we argue, we cry, we hug, we slap, we nudge, we kiss, we scream, and we whisper. We remember we are just a bunch of humans put into a room, any room, any bunch of humans. We have everything; we have ourselves.
Cellphoned to their continents, Pilgrims
from whatever persecution, kill those turkeys in
want, want, want, and the landing gear drops.
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The Bell House
The online literary and cultural sites Guernica and the Rumpus team up with BuzzFeed Books for seasonal festivities featuring live music by Alina Simone (the author of “Notes to Self” and “You Must Go to Win”), readings by Geoff Dyer and Saeed Jones, comedy by Janine Brito, and d.j. sets by Lincoln Michel and James Yeh (of Gigantic magazine) and Ryan Chapman (of the Atavist). (The Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn. thebellhouseny.com. Dec. 9 at 7.) GET TICKETS
Whatever this map
Of mud and sweetness is, I have bought into it.
There is something insidiously ironic about being American Indian that hits you each fall. It all starts with Columbus Day to mark our “discovery,” then moves right into the “it’s totally not racist to dress up as a hypersexualized Indian” for Halloween parties, and goes out with a bang on Thanksgiving when we celebrate the survival of the Pilgrims and that harmonious, mutually beneficial relationship forged between colonizers and Indigenous peoples everywhere! However romanticized or factually inaccurate, these holidays happen to be the three days when Native peoples actually enter the mass psyche of American culture. I don’t know about you, but I usually spend the autumn months parading around in my Navajo Hipster panties, feather headdress (on loan from model Karlie Kloss and singer Gwen Stefani), Manifest Destiny T-Shirt and knee-high fringed moccasins made in Taiwan while watching a Redskins game, smoking a pack of American Spirits, and eating genetically modified Butter Ball turkey, because I’m just that traditional.
So we go on doing our thing for a few more months, all good and soon enough it’s Thanksgiving. Thanksfuckingiving. Shoulda thought that one through. After all, Neli doesn’t bring her ladyfriend to the house. As far as they know, she’s a virgin and will always be one. She encourages that kinda thinking too but that’s my sister’s prerogative.
Millions of Americans do strange or extreme things without quite being able to articulate why.